EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Thousands of Borderland residents signed a petition for the City of El Paso to transition to using renewable energy.

Sunrise El Paso and Ground Game Texas collected close to 40,000 signatures for their climate charter petition and if enough signatures are verified by the city, you could see an item related to the petition on the ballot in May of 2023.

The City Council chambers were filled with signs that read: “People spoke. Ensure the vote, no excuse” and “This is a climate emergency”.

City Council voting to postpone the charter election that is scheduled to take place in November, and instead move it to May of 2023. Talking about the time it will take the City Clerk to verify the signatures.

“Under State law the petitioners have to had to have gathered either 5 percent of the registered voters within the City of El Paso. Or 20,000 signatures, whichever is less. In El Paso it’s approximately 18,000 signatures that they would have to gather and the City Clerk would have to verify,” said Karla Nieman the El Paso City Attorney.

The petition says the goal is for the City of El Paso to 80 percent renewable energy by 2030 and 100 percent clean renewable energy by 2045.

“We would want a climate department to be established that would help the City transition towards renewable energy kind of guide the City on how to develop sustainable infrastructure and target the climate crisis and mitigate the worst effects of the climate crisis,” said Ana Fuentes the campaign manager for Ground Game Texas and the Coordinator for Sunrise El Paso.

The petition also talks about having El Paso Electric become a municipal electric company.

“The City of El Paso shall employ all available efforts to convert El Paso Electric to municipal ownership.

In consultation with the Climate Director, the City Manager shall provide the City Council with an annual report to describe the feasibility of converting El Paso Electric into a municipal electric company, including any actions required to advance this objective.”

El Paso Climate Charter

 “We would want a climate department to be established that would help the city transition towards renewable energy kind of guide the city on how to develop sustainable infrastructure and target the climate crises and mitigate the worst effects of the climate crises,” said Ana Fuentes.

However Fuentes says that is not the main part of the climate charter.

“The main ask is this climate department and having a climate director and having the staff required to develop a study on the city to identify areas of town that have higher pollution that are more prone to flooding and then take the steps to work against those conditions,” said Fuentes.

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